Get Your Employees CPR and First Aid Certified

Get Your Employees CPR and First Aid Certified

I’m telling you, as an employer lawyer that having employees that are CPR and first aid certified can not only protect employers from personal injury and wrongful death suits, but also make employees feel safer in the workplace. Getting your workforce CPR and first aid certified isn’t as difficult as it may sound. Even smaller cities such as West Jordan, Utah have a variety of certification options for employers. No matter where you choose to complete your training, courses in either CPR or first aid each take about three hours to complete.

American Heart Association

The American Heart Association (AHA) has offices and affiliates all over the United States. The AHA offers traditional classroom training in CPR and first aid as well as a blended learning experience, which combines online courses with in-person practice and testing. Both options will teach your employees what to do in case of an emergency, protecting both the employer and the employees from a wrongful death claim.

American Red Cross 

The American Red Cross offers similar classroom and online certification options as the AHA, and will also come to you and provide on-site training from a certified instructor. If you’d like to have your own instructor in-house, you can send a company representative to the American Red Cross to be trained and certified in teaching CPR and first aid — your newly certified representative can then lead classes in the workplace. The American Red Cross also hosts regularly scheduled community classes in cities such as West Jordan that are open to members of the public.

Local Hospitals and Fire Departments 

Most fire departments hold regular CPR and first aid certification classes that are open to their communities. Often they are willing to come to your workplace and educate employees on proper procedure, helping to save lives and protect against wrongful death. Local hospitals frequently host community courses as well.

Local Colleges and Universities

If your company is located near a college or university, chances are it offers CPR and first aid certification to the public. Employers in West Jordan can find certification courses offered at Davis Applied Technology College as well as nearby Westminster College and the University of Utah.

HOW TO BE A PROACTIVE DRIVER

While one can argue that the leading causes of an auto accident can be texting while driving or driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol, what these basically amount to is driving while not paying attention to driving. How can drivers in St. George, Utah not end up in an auto accident due to someone else’s negligence?

Proactive vs. Reactive

The difference between a proactive driver and a reactive driver, as any good lawyer will tell you, is on the intention of a person’s actions while driving. Distracted driving is entirely made up of reactive driving, as the only thing a driver can do is drive out of the corner of his eye. If you want to be a proactive driver the first step is to put both eyes on the road, at the very least outside the car. St. George has some gorgeous views, so take those in rather than the latest Youtube video.

Know Your Next Move

Like a good chess master or a seasoned trial lawyer, as you’re driving you should always be several moves ahead of your opponent, or in this case fellow drivers. Plan what lane you want to be in and who to pass, such as an erratic driver or a truck with an unsecured load to avoid an auto accident. The roads around St. George are littered with debris from accidents that could’ve been prevented just from seeing the guy who forgot to tie down his barbecue.

Keep Your Mind on the Road

You may have your phone put away, but that doesn’t mean your bladder isn’t empty or that the kids aren’t screaming. Take whatever stops you need to make to calm the kids and your digestive system. A lawyer who’s seen hundreds of auto accident cases can attest to it not being worth your life to lose your patience and run off the road because your kid dropped a crayon.

Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer

It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

Signs That You Should Get a Divorce

Paying the Debts of a Deceased Relative

Child Support

Probate Basics

Divorce and Credit Cards

Tips For Surviving Divorce Settlement Talks

Types of Trusts

Types of Trusts

trust can be created during a person’s lifetime and survive the person’s death. A trust can also be created by a will and formed after death. We’ve provided a basic overview of trustshere. Once assets are put into the trust they belong to the trust itself, not the trustee, and remain subject to the rules and instructions of the trust contract. Most basically, a trust is a right in property, which is held in a fiduciary relationship by one party for the benefit of another. The trustee is the one who holds title to the trust property, and the beneficiary is the person who receives the benefits of the trust. While there are a number of different types of trusts, the basic types are revocable and irrevocable.

Revocable Trusts

We talk more in depth on revocable trusts on this page.

Revocable trusts are created during the lifetime of the trustmaker and can be altered, changed, modified or revoked entirely. Often called a living trust, these are trusts in which the trustmaker transfers the title of a property to a trust, serves as the initial trustee, and has the ability to remove the property from the trust during his or her lifetime. Revocable trusts are extremely helpful in avoiding probate. If ownership of assets is transferred to a revocable trust during the lifetime of the trustmaker so that it is owned by the trust at the time of the trustmaker’s death, the assets will not be subject to probate.

Although useful to avoid probate, a revocable trust is not an asset protection technique as assets transferred to the trust during the trustmaker’s lifetime will remain available to the trustmaker’s creditors. It does make it more somewhat more difficult for creditors to access these assets since the creditor must petition a court for an order to enable the creditor to get to the assets held in the trust. Typically, a revocable trust evolves into an irrevocable trust upon the death of the trustmaker.

Irrevocable Trust

An irrevocable trust is one which cannot be altered, changed, modified or revoked after its creation. Once a property is transferred to an irrevocable trust, no one, including the trustmaker, can take the property out of the trust. It is possible to purchase survivorship life insurance, the benefits of which can be held by an irrevocable trust. This type of survivorship life insurance can be used for estate tax planning purposes in large estates, however, survivorship life insurance held in an irrevocable trust can have serious negative consequences.

Asset Protection Trust

An asset protection trust is a type of trust that is designed to protect a person’s assets from claims of future creditors. These types of trusts are often set up in countries outside of the United States, although the assets do not always need to be transferred to the foreign jurisdiction. The purpose of an asset protection trust is to insulate assets from creditor attack. These trusts are normally structured so that they are irrevocable for a term of years and so that the trustmaker is not a current beneficiary. An asset protection trust is normally structured so that the undistributed assets of the trust are returned to the trustmaker upon termination of the trust provided there is no current risk of creditor attack, thus permitting the trustmaker to regain complete control over the formerly protected assets.

Charitable Trust

Charitable trusts are trusts which benefit a particular charity or the public in general. Typically charitable trusts are established as part of an estate plan to lower or avoid imposition of estate and gift tax. A charitable remainder trust (CRT) funded during the grantor’s lifetime can be a financial planning tool, providing the trustmaker with valuable lifetime benefits. In addition to the financial benefits, there is the intangible benefit of rewarding the trustmaker’s altruism as charities usually immediately honor the donors who have named the charity as the beneficiary of a CRT.

Constructive Trust

A constructive trust is an implied trust. An implied trust is established by a court and is determined from certain facts and circumstances. The court may decide that, even though there was never a formal declaration of a trust, there was an intention on the part of the property owner that the property be used for a particular purpose or go to a particular person. While a person may take legal title to property, equitable considerations sometimes require that the equitable title of such property really belongs to someone else.

Special Needs Trust

A special needs trust is one which is set up for a person who receives government benefits so as not to disqualify the beneficiary from such government benefits. This is completely legal and permitted under the Social Security rules provided that the disabled beneficiary cannot control the amount or the frequency of trust distributions and cannot revoke the trust. Ordinarily when a person is receiving government benefits, an inheritance or receipt of a gift could reduce or eliminate the person’s eligibility for such benefits.

By establishing a trust, which provides for luxuries or other benefits which otherwise could not be obtained by the beneficiary, the beneficiary can obtain the benefits from the trust without defeating his or her eligibility for government benefits. Usually, a special needs trust has a provision which terminates the trust in the event that it could be used to make the beneficiary ineligible for government benefits.

Special needs has a specific legal definition and is defined as the requisites for maintaining the comfort and happiness of a disabled person, when such requisites are not being provided by any public or private agency. Special needs can include medical and dental expenses, equipment, education, treatment, rehabilitation, eye glasses, transportation (including vehicle purchase), maintenance, insurance (including payment of premiums of insurance on the life of the beneficiary), essential dietary needs, spending money, electronic and computer equipment, vacations, athletic contests, movies, trips, money with which to purchase gifts, payments for a companion, and other items to enhance self-esteem. The list is quite extensive.

Parents of a disabled child can establish a special needs trust as part of their general estate plan and not worry that their child will be prevented from receiving benefits when they are not there to care for the child. Disabled persons who expect an inheritance or other large sum of money may establish a special needs trust themselves, provided that another person or entity is named as trustee.

Spendthrift Trust

A trust that is established for a beneficiary which does not allow the beneficiary to sell or pledge away interests in the trust is known as a spendthrift trust. It is protected from the beneficiaries’ creditors, until such time as the trust property is distributed out of the trust and given to the beneficiaries.

Tax By-Pass Trust

A tax by-pass trust is a type of trust that is created to allow one spouse to leave money to the other, while limiting the amount of federal estate tax that would be payable on the death of the second spouse. While assets can pass to a spouse tax-free, when the surviving spouse dies, the remaining assets over and above the exempt limit would be taxable to the children of the couple, potentially at a rate of 55 percent. A tax by-pass trust avoids this situation and saves the children perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal taxes, depending upon the value of the estate.

Totten Trust

A Totten trust is one that is created during the lifetime of the grantor by depositing money into an account at a financial institution in his or her name as the trustee for another. This is a type of revocable trust in which the gift is not completed until the grantor’s death or an unequivocal act reflecting the gift during the grantor’s lifetime. An individual or an entity can be named as the beneficiary. Upon death, Totten trust assets avoid probate. A totten trust is used primarily with accounts and securities in financial institutions such as savings accounts, bank accounts, and certificates of deposit. A Totten trust cannot be used with real property. A Totten Trust provides a safer method to pass assets on to family than using joint ownership.

To create a totten trust, the title on the account should include identifying language, such as “In Trust For,” “Payable on Death To,” “As Trustee For,” or the identifying initials for each, “IFF,” “POD,” “ATF.” If this language is not included, the beneficiary may not be identifiable. A Totten trust has been called a “poor man’s” trust because a written trust document is typically not involved and it often costs the trustmaker nothing to establish.

Create a Trust Today

Forming a trust is a great way to protect your family’s assets and to make sure loved ones are secure. You may decide that the complexity required for such a trust would benefit from the advice of an estate planning lawyer. Get ahead of the curve and get some peace of mind for your family by calling
Ascent Law today.

Free Consultation with a Utah Estate Planning Attorney

If you are here, you probably have an estate issue you need help with, call Ascent Law for your free estate law consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

How to Deal with an Angry Spouse During Divorce

Pour Over Will

Why Draining Your Retirement To Save a Doomed House from Foreclosure Before Filing Bankruptcy is a Mistake

The Cook Islands Trust

Exercise, Eat Healthy, and File Bankruptcy

Financial Planning After Divorce

Employers and Harassment Claims

Employers and Harassment Claims

The Pendulum swings.  Recent times have demonstrated just how far.  Earlier, sweat shops led to child labor laws.  Decades of racial discrimination led to quota systems.  Of late, claims of “sexual harassment” and “hostile work environments” have led to laws and lawsuits that make employers wonder what they can do to avoid both claims and lawsuits.  The purpose of this note is not to discuss “the why,” but to educate employers as to the “what to do.”

Listen Here Employers to an Employer Lawyer

First, tell employees, in writing, that as their employer, you will not tolerate harassment.  Tell them “harassment” is not limited to just unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors.  Besides inappropriate verbal, graphic, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, it includes slurs, jokes, and other offensive comments concerning an individual’s race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, or marital status.

Tell them that if an employee believes he or she has been subjected to harassment, the employee must report it.  Not may.  Not should.  Must.

Next, have related procedures in place and made known to all employees, including management.  The procedures have to tell all employees how they are to report their claims and direct your management staff members on how to handle (evaluate, investigate, and resolve) the allegations.   Be sure all employees are given the instructions, even if they are located at a two-person branch office at a remote location.

HERE ARE REAL WAYS YOU CAN BEAT HARASSMENT CLAIMS

Follow through IMMEDIATELY on all claims and allegations.  Speed (rationally applied) cannot be overemphasized in the sense of response or reaction time by an employer.

Identify the issues.  Conduct the investigation.  Analyze the findings.  Adopt and implement a response or determination, including taking corrective action.

In the meantime, separate the involved parties.  In doing so, do not show favor to the alleged wrongdoer – even if the position held has greater importance to your company’s productivity and profitability.  If the accusations are serious, you may need to suspend the alleged wrongdoer with pay, until the process has been completed. I know you may not want to do this part, but as an employer lawyer, I’m telling you, this is one of the best practices.

The first step is to gather information from the complainant.  Encourage open communication by confirming the employer’s anti-harassment policy.  Emphasize there will be no retaliation.  Conduct an interview and obtain a written statement.  Do the same with all witnesses.  Request all possible tangible evidence (i.e., diaries or journals, photographs, “love letters,” cartoons).

After gathering the information, inform the alleged wrongdoer of the nature of the charges, and obtain his or her response.  Again, interview the employee and obtain a written statement.   In doing so, repeat the employer’s anti-harassment policies, and request other possible evidence relevant to the investigation.

As to all of the involved employees, make three things clear: (1) you are only investigating the claim and will not pre-judge its merits; (2) they are to keep the investigation confidential; and (3) they are not to interfere with the investigation by speaking to others about it.

After interviewing the accused and obtaining his or her statement, you will probably reconvene with the complainant to cover factual and even legal points made in defense of the alleged wrongdoer.

Each claim must be assessed by the employer as to where it may lead.  Some can be handled easily – your designated human resources employee or in-house counsel may undertake the investigation.  Regardless of whom you select, make sure the procedures are followed, and the documentation is done with at least moderate formality.

Some claims or allegations may warrant bringing in a third party for assistance.  Often, outside legal counsel are brought in.  Typically, they are skilled interviewers and can provide objectivity.  Or, legal counsel may provide direction to other independent investigators, such as human resource consultants.

Who should not be the investigator?  Supervisors or managers should not conduct their own investigations.  Even if they could perform adequately, you need to avoid all appearance of bias.  Thus, friends or relatives also should not be considered.

The final step for the investigator is to analyze his or her findings and prepare a report or recommendation of possible action.  If wrongdoing is found to have taken place, the report should reflect a violation of company policy, without labeling the employee as being “guilty” of harassment.  Still, you need to impose an appropriate discipline.  For anything other than minor infractions, you should not give only a warning with the admonition, “do not let it happen again – or else.”  The “or else” needs to be implemented.

If you do not find that a violation has occurred, or has been proved, and there is to be no disciplinary action taken, you should have legal counsel review the documentation and discuss the claim with the investigator.  Be sure that none of the involved parties obtains the impression that he or she was not believed, or that you found for or against him or her.  Further, be certain to follow up with the parties to make sure there are no more perceived problems or allegations of retaliation.

Free Consultation with a Utah Business Lawyer for Employers

If you are here, you probably have a business law issue you need help with, call Ascent Law for your free business law consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

Intellectual Property Lawyer

Business Lawyer

Child Support Laws

Criminal Lawyer

Divorce Lawyer

Child Custody Lawyer

Baby Boomers Have the Most Divorces

Baby Boomers Have the Most Divorces

As a divorce lawyer, I’m constantly reviewing information and statistics about divorce. As the divorce rate continues to decline among Gen-Xers and Millennials, it’s the Baby Boomers who are still getting divorced at the highest rates.

According to researchers, students, and professors from the University of Maryland, the average marriage is lasting longer than ever, and young people are divorcing less often. This could have quite a bit to do with people being far more cautious in their approach to marriage, as the average age of people getting married for the first time is also higher than ever. Between the 1940s and 1970s, a woman in her first marriage was just over 20 years old on average. Now, she is just over 27. So people are getting married much older now. The Baby Boomer Generation got married a lot younger so that’s on reason that people think divorce is more common among them.

Baby Boomers keeping divorce rates up

Although overall divorce rates are steadily decreasing, they are still as high as they are primarily because of the Baby Boomers. From 1990 to 2012, the divorce rate for people between 55 and 64 year olds more than doubled as Baby Boomers entered retirement age. The divorce rate for people 65 and older more than tripled.

It will take some time to determine whether Millennials are, in fact, simply better at maintaining their relationships for life. The average time it takes for first marriages to end in divorce is 12 years. However, based on how many fewer Gen-Xers have divorced than Baby Boomers, it would seem like today’s young couples are going to continue the trend of fewer divorces overall.

Why Divorce is Better than Being Trapped in a Bad Marriage

There’s a certain stigma associated with divorce that many people have a hard time shaking. Those who are stuck in bad relationships often delay filing for divorce simply because they focus on negative questions, such as “what will other people think?” or “what if this decision ruins my children’s lives?”

Although it’s quite normal to have concerns and fears related to divorce, dissolving your marriage may be a much better option than staying in a toxic relationship. Here are some reasons why:

  • You can set a better example for your kids: While there are many challenges associated with being a single parent, the last thing you want to show your kids is that it is normal to put up with an unhealthy relationship. Children are going to grow up to look for the kinds of relationships they experienced and saw as a young child. Don’t model a bad relationship for them.
  • You can focus on yourself: After you get divorced, you can get back to focusing on yourself, learning who you are and living for you. You are still able to be a great parent, but you may also find a new appreciation for life.
  • You can escape danger: It is especially important to get a divorce if your spouse is at all abusive, whether physically, emotionally or financially. You should never have to accept an abusive relationship. Get out as soon as you can and escape the danger and fear you’re experiencing.
  • You can find a better fit for you: After spending some time alone and finding yourself, you can put effort into finding a partner who is actually good for you and strengthens and empowers you. You deserve to find someone who truly makes you happy.

Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah

If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will fight for you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

Estate Planning Lawyer

Bankruptcy Lawyer

Probate Lawyer

Trial Lawyer

Real Estate Lawyer

Injury Lawyer

Does Bankruptcy Affect Divorce?

Does Bankruptcy Affect Divorce

Depending on your financial situation, it may seem like it is a sensible decision to file for bankruptcy at the same time as you file for divorce, especially if large debt was a major contributing factor to your divorce. However, these two legal processes can occasionally complicate each other when they occur at the same time and make the divorce process in particular go quite a bit slower. You’ll want to speak with a Chapter 7 Lawyer to make sure you are doing the right thing. At our office, we have active cases in both divorce and bankruptcy, so you can feel secure knowing that we can help you with your case.

Bankruptcy and Divorce Lawyer

If you file for bankruptcy during a divorce, the divorce court can still make decisions regarding items such as alimony, child support, child custody and visitation. However, the property division process cannot begin so long as bankruptcy courts still have control over your property.

It is also important to understand that just because you file for bankruptcy does not mean you will automatically be excused from certain joint debts that you incurred during the course of your marriage. Although bankruptcy may forgive these debts for you and put the responsibility on the shoulders of your ex-spouse, in most cases that spouse will be advised to take you back to divorce court to get an order for you to pay him or her back.

Certain divorce debts cannot be eliminated at all from bankruptcy. Alimony and child support will never be forgiven through bankruptcy, end neither will any payments that you make to your spouse as part of an exchange for property.

Some Reasons You Should Consider an Annulment Instead of a Divorce

All 50 states allow for no-fault divorces, but there are some circumstances in which you might prefer to get an annulment instead. While most marriages don’t qualify for an annulment, those that do might be better served by this process rather than divorce.

The following are a few common reasons why people choose annulments:

  • New information has come to light: Under Utah law, you must be able to demonstrate something you have found out since the marriage occurred would have stopped you from legally entering the marriage had you known about it earlier. Examples include a spouse who was already married, an enormous debt you were not aware of, lies about identity or other forms of fraud.
  • You are religious: Some religions, such as Catholicism, require you to have your marriage annulled by the church if you wish to get remarried someday. You may have a civil divorce and a religious annulment and still get remarried, although you might wish to get a legal annulment for simplicity’s sake. Keep in mind that the standards for a legal annulment are not the same as those for a religious annulment.
  • You do not want the divorce on public record: Some people wish to keep the record of their divorce out of the public eye. An annulment is not subject to public record like a divorce is, and so it can offer you some privacy in that regard.
  • You expect property division to be an issue: If you expect complications to arise with the division of marital property, going through the annulment process could prevent you from losing a portion of your assets.

Free Consultation with Bankruptcy Lawyer

If you have a bankruptcy question, or need to file a bankruptcy case, call Ascent Law now at (801) 676-5506. Attorneys in our office have filed over a thousand cases. We can help you now. Come in or call in for your free initial consultation.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

Avoiding a Contentious Divorce

Does the Business Pay Lawyers Fees?

State of Utah Grandparents Rights

How Far Back Can Child Support Go?

What is the Fastest Way to Get Out of Debt?

Drug Crimes Lawyer

Drug Crimes Lawyer

Drug Crimes Lawyer

One of the most fundamental problems facing the American criminal justice system is debate over the answer to the following question: Is addiction a disease? Alcohol abuse was defined as an addiction by the American Medical Association in the mid 1960s, and drug abuse followed less than a decade later.

As a criminal lawyer, I’m different than others. I want people to know their rights and protect them. That’s why we put out information – to help people just like you. Now, we’ve provided information about drug crimes before here, here, and here, but there is always more to address.

Unfortunately, addiction is still widely regarded as a moral failing rather than a disease, which is perhaps why our nation’s drug laws focus on incarceration and punishment rather than treatment. The recent drug crimes case involving a Salt Lake City former judge suggests that addiction can quickly derail the lives of even the most moral and upright individuals.

In August, the 46-year-old judge pleaded guilty to one count of drug possession with intent to distribute. Investigators allegedly tracked the woman as she picked up packages containing drugs from a post office box in Salt Lake City.

The former judge has explained that she is addicted to the prescription painkiller Oxycodone; which she first began taking after a 1998 car accident. Some of the packages apparently contained Oxycodone pills while others contained different drugs that she allegedly traded for Oxycodone.

This month, she was sentenced to 90 days in jail followed by three years of probation. Under the terms of her probation, the woman has agreed to continue drug treatment and testing, among other things.

Many outside observers have been critical of the sentence given to the former judge; believing it to be too light. But let’s examine the facts. The woman has been a faithful public servant for years. And prior to her recent conviction, she had an absolutely spotless criminal record. She is also raising two young children as a single mother; including a child with special needs.

According to her attorney, the woman admitted to herself that she had an addiction problem before being arrested. She had even been trying to ween herself off of Oxycodone.

It is fairly plain to see that this former judge’s drug abuse was not the result of growing up in a bad neighborhood, falling in with the wrong crowd or simply lacking moral character. Even her decision to take drugs in the first place was motivated by a legitimate need to manage pain after an accident.

Addiction is a disease, but it often causes symptoms that include criminal and immoral behaviors. How much more successful would we be as a society if we treated the underlying disease rather than simply punishing the symptoms?

U.S. Supreme Court To Take On Important Drug Crimes Case

It’s a classic scenario that has landed countless drivers in hot water. A police officer pulls someone over for erratic driving or some other infraction, and the stop yields something much more substantial, such as a large quantity of drugs. Many drunk driving arrests and drug crimes charges start with a traffic infraction that may be minor, but is enough to establish probable cause and initiate a traffic stop.

But here’s an interesting and tricky question: what if the erratic driving was witnessed by an anonymous tipster, and a police officer makes the stop without having seen the bad driving for himself? That’s a question central to a case that will likely go before the U.S. Supreme Court in January of next year.

The incident occurred in California after someone made an anonymous 911 call to report that a Ford 150 pickup was driving recklessly and had run the caller off the road. Dispatchers were provided with important information including the truck’s license plate number, which was then passed along to the California Highway Patrol.

Officers spotted the vehicle and made the traffic stop, despite the fact that they did not observe the reckless driving themselves. During the stop, an officer smelled marijuana and searched the truck. Four large bags of it were found and the two men in the truck pleaded guilty to transporting marijuana.

They later appealed their conviction based on the traffic stop itself. A previous ruling by a high court set the precedent that it is not generally allowable for police to conduct a search or detain someone when acting solely on an anonymous tip. The question that the U.S. Supreme Court will address is whether anonymous tips should be treated differently when they concern drunk driving or reckless driving.

In recent years, several important criminal cases have gone before the nation’s highest court, and the rulings have proven to be influential around the country, including here in Utah. Based on the details and the questions posed, there is reason to believe that this case may prove to be important to the future of criminal defense as well.

Free Consultation with a Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer

When you need help on a criminal case, please give our office a call for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

Domestic Asset Protection Trusts

Call a West Jordan Car Accident Lawyer

Things You Need to Know About Prenups

The Attorney’s Role in Commercial Transactions

Avoiding a Contentious Divorce

Does the Business Pay Lawyer’s Fees?

Family Home in Divorce

Family Home in Divorce

Here at Ascent Law, we’ve found that establishing separate living arrangements — including custody of the family home — is one of the most immediate concerns in divorces.  And since the home is often the couple’s most valuable marital asset, it also represents a significant property issue. This is something that you should speak with a family lawyer about right away if you are thinking about getting divorced.

For now, how do I get my spouse to leave so I can stay in or return to my home?

If you own a home together (or if both names on a rental lease), you can request a court order giving you exclusive occupancy of the marital residence while the divorce is in process. The judge is most likely to give occupancy to the party who needs it most — the person who is the primary caretaker of the children, for example, or the person who is least able to afford another place to live.

Will I end up having to leave my home?

If you and your spouse have a settlement agreement establishing the terms of the divorce – or an existing legal separation agreement – the home will likely be awarded accordingly. Otherwise, it’s up to the court to divide marital property, presumed to include your home, according to Utah’s Equitable Distribution Law.

The judge will want to establish the home’s value, the balance on the mortgage and the taxes. Each spouse’s probable future financial circumstances will be examined, including whether each has the resources to maintain the home independently.

The court may order that the home be sold and the proceeds divided between the spouses. This process can be delayed until a future date – for instance, after the children have graduated from high school.

Important Things to Know About Taxes After Divorce

One of the most important tasks to complete when going through a divorce is planning for your financial future. A part of this is determining your tax outlook after the divorce is finalized. If you live in Utah, or if you’ve been in Salt Lake County for more than 3 months and are thinking about divorce, make sure you call a divorce lawyer in Salt Lake City Utah for help with your situation.

Paying taxes is always at least somewhat complicated, but a divorce can make matters even more difficult. However, with the help of an experienced attorney, you will be able to navigate your taxes after your divorce without a problem. Below are a few issues you will need to consider:

Filing status in Divorce

If your marriage has not officially ended, you may file your taxes in several ways. These include “married filing jointly,” “married filing separately” or, in some cases, “head of household.”

You’re considered “married” or “divorced” based on your marital status on the final day of the calendar year. If you were single as of December 31, you were considered single for the entire tax year. If you are divorcing (but still married) as of December 31, you may file your taxes as married. This is typically the best option for both parties, as it offers the biggest tax breaks.

Exemptions in Divorce

If you have children, it might be helpful to file as the head of the household if you are the custodial parent. This offers you lower tax rates and allows you to claim your children as dependents.

Property ownership and Divorce

If you own joint property, you might wonder who is responsible for paying taxes on it. Any income from joint property is kept by the person who ends up with the asset, and so that person must also pay the associated taxes.

Deductions in Divorce

Legal fees connected to a divorce are not deductible — and neither are child support payments. However, alimony payments are deductible for the payer and taxable to the recipient, under certain conditions.

Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah

If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will fight for you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

Dirty Utah Custody Case Tricks to Watch Out For

Securities Fraud Lawyer

Annulment in West Jordan Utah

Secured Debt in Bankruptcy

Reasons People Get Divorced

Proving Parental Alientation

Documents to Bring to Divorce Lawyer

Your divorce lawyer is there to help you through the divorce process. To assist you, your attorney needs to obtain a full picture of your situation. Why you want a divorce, what you expect out of one, and a snapshot of your financial situation are key to helping your lawyer understand how best to advise you on moving forward with your divorce. Before you meet with your lawyer, ask yourself some questions and examine your situation.

Documents to Bring to Divorce Lawyer

Your first meeting with your attorney will serve to flesh out your situation. Your lawyer will ask questions to obtain an understanding of your case. You need to express your intentions and answer honestly.

You should bring the following with you to help your lawyer understand and prepare your case:

  • Your contact information, including home and work addresses and phone numbers
  • Certificate of marriage
  • Pay stubs
  • Loan information, including any car loans
  • Tax returns
  • Information on mortgages
  • Any prenuptial agreement
  • Bank account numbers and statements
  • Adoption decrees, if any children are adopted
  • Credit card statements
  • Deeds of properties
  • Pension information
  • Trust information
  • A list of extremely valuable assets, such as art or jewelry

Your lawyer may request you bring other documentation, depending on your circumstances. Gathering this information and providing it to your attorney saves time in preparing your case and is a cost-effective measure.

Does Utah Still Have Lifetime Alimony?

Utah State recently reformed many aspects of its Domestic Relations Law, including rules for permanent alimony. The new law creates an advisory schedule for the duration of permanent alimony based on the length of the marriage:

  • From 0 up to and including 15 years — Alimony may last anywhere from 15 percent to 30 percent of the marriage’s length.
  • More than 15 up to and including 20 years — Alimony may last anywhere from 30 to 40 percent of the marriage’s length.
  • More than 20 years — Alimony may last anywhere from 35 to 50 percent of the marriage’s length.

The court is not required to follow this schedule and may consider other factors, listed elsewhere in the law, as the bases for deciding the alimony amount. A judge who declines to use the schedule must present a written decision citing the factors considered. When setting the duration of alimony, the court must also consider the impact that retirement might have on the available assets and benefits. Alimony of any duration terminates upon the passing of one of the spouses.

The new law seems to favor very short terms of spousal maintenance for marriages of short duration, while setting a maximum recommended term of 10 years. Since the law is new, it’s impossible to say how heavily judges will rely on the new schedule. However, the law does leave open the possibility of lifetime alimony in cases the court finds appropriate.

When Assets Go to Waste in Divorce

Which of these examples would be considered marital waste?

  • Upon being asked for a divorce, a spouse goes on a spending spree, running up the balance on jointly held credit cards.
  • Throughout the marriage, a spouse drinks to excess and gambles away the proceeds of an investment account held by the couple.
  • A couple separates when one spouse learns the other has been having an affair for several years, using marital monies to fund the relationship.

The answer is all of them. The marital estate comprises the possessions, assets, goods and liabilities a couple brings to the table during a divorce. In Utah, property is divided equitably. Reaching an agreement with your spouse during divorce that divides assets fairly benefits you both. Failing to do so means the court will divide your assets.

Sometimes a spouse unfairly uses, loses or wastes value of the marital estate. The court looks at marital waste as wasteful dissipation of marital assets and takes the unjust use of assets into account when making decisions about the division of property.

While some cases of marital waste seem obvious, others are less so. If one spouse takes out a business loan, struggles to make the enterprise work and loses the business in the end, the marital estate is diminished and possibly saddled with debt. Nevertheless, the undertaking was done in good faith with the idea of improving the economic condition of the couple.

Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah

If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

Probate Basics

Eliminate Medical Debt

Trust Beneficiary Clause

Tired of Paying Alimony

Divorce and Credit Cards

Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number

Investment in Foreign Real Estate Lawyer

Investment in Foreign Real Estate Lawyer

The term “global marketplace” has never been more descriptive-particularly when it comes to real estate. There are numerous reasons why many of our clients invest in property overseas, including asset protection, portfolio diversification, retirement planning, privacy, and tax savings. Real estate is not only a very stable investment in many foreign countries, it is also harder for U.S. creditors to attach than domestic property.

If you own real estate abroad, the tax forms and reporting requirements are dependent on your operation of the property and any foreign entities that may be used to hold title of the property.

If you own the foreign real estate directly as an individual, the U.S. income tax rules with respect to that property are almost the same as if the property were located in the USA. On your U.S. tax return you would depreciate the property and follow the same rules with respect to income and expenses as you would on property in the United States. Foreign property taxes are deductible, as are travel costs connected with managing investment properties overseas. You can also exclude up to $250,000 ($500,000 if married) in capital gains if you sell an overseas property that served as your primary residence for at least two out of the last five years.

If your foreign real estate is a rental property, the rental income and expenses must be reported on your Form 1040 using schedule E. In this case, your foreign rental property is basically treated the same way as domestic property, except that depreciation must be made over 40 years instead of the usual 271/2.

There are, however, special rules regarding the reporting of rental income from overseas real estate. You don’t have to report rental income if your property was rented out for less than 14 days during the year, or if it was used for personal reasons for more than 14 days or 10% of the days it was rented out. You can deduct mortgage interest, property taxes, and travel costs, but there is no deduction for rental expenses and losses.

Generally speaking, if you own real estate outside of the U.S., you’re more than likely to have one or more bank accounts in that country whether to pay expenses or possibly collect rent. This must be disclosed on Form 1040, Schedule B. If the foreign bank account(s) contains $10,000 or more on any given day of the calendar year you will need to file an FBAR (Form 114 Report of Foreign Bank Accounts) with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network [FINCEN] annually before July 1. Failure to do so risks penalties beginning at $10,000 and potential criminal indictment.

If the property is held by a foreign corporation with 10% or more U.S. ownership, a foreign partnership or LLC, or a foreign trust or estate you will need to report that ownership on one of a number of IRS forms including Form 5471 (ownership inside a foreign corporation), and Form 8938 – Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets. These new filling requirements are a result of FATCA laws, with penalties beginning at $10,000 per incident. It’s important to note the reporting thresholds for FORM 8938. If your total foreign assets do not exceed those limits, you may not need to file for that year. In short, your individual circumstances will determine which reporting requirements and tax forms may be required.

Ownership in foreign real estate can be an important component of your overall investment strategy. If you already own property abroad or you are planning to invest in overseas property, it is imperative that you understand how the laws and regulations in other countries affect your U.S. taxes.

Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer

It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

Real Estate Lawyer

Marijuana Is Not Legal In Utah

Injury Lawyer

Understanding Joint Legal Custody

Family Lawyer

Brachial Plexus Injury Lawyer in Utah

Help a Loved One Make a Power of Attorney

Watching a loved one decline is hard enough by itself, but the process can become a nightmare if that loved one hasn’t set up powers of attorney for healthcare and/or finances. It’s imperative that family members and loved ones make decisions while they are healthy about whom they want to make decisions for them if and when they become incapacitated. There are two key areas where a person needs to establish a power of attorney in someone they trust: healthcare and finances.

Help a Loved One Make a Power of Attorney

Power of Attorney for Healthcare

The power of attorney for healthcare is given to the person you want to make medical decisions for you in an emergency. Even though you may have set out your wishes in your healthcare declaration, such documents can never cover every circumstance, and the person who has a durable power of attorney for healthcare is the person who makes decisions not covered by your healthcare directive. Keep in mind that the person with a power of attorney for healthcare can never contradict the terms of your healthcare declaration. Depending on the state you live in, the person you grant a durable power of attorney for healthcare will typically be called your “agent,” “proxy,” or “attorney-in-fact”. The typical rights for this person include:

  • The power to offer or deny consent for medical treatments so long as it doesn’t disagree with anything in your living will.
  • The power to decide what medical facilities you should go to.
  • The power to decide which doctors and medical personnel you should see.
  • The power to go to court over whether to receive or withhold medical treatment.
  • The power to decide about how your body will be handled after death, often including organ donation (if you have specific feelings on these matters, write them into your living will which will always trump someone with power of attorney).
  • Access to your medical records.
  • Visitation rights.

In granting the power of attorney, you can give a person complete authority to make all decisions, or limit them significantly to make only specific decisions. Be careful when greatly limiting such power, however, since the primary reason to have such a person is because your living will cannot cover every possibility. If you want specificity, it is better to do that in your living will, which the person with a durable power of attorney can’t override anyways.

In order to create a power of attorney for healthcare, most states only require that you be an adult (typically 18) and be competent when you create the document. This document takes effect when your doctor declares that you lack the “capacity” to make your own health care decisions. The power of attorney for healthcare is generally only extinguished upon your death, revocation by you or a court, or upon divorce if the power of attorney was granted to the ex-spouse.

Power of Attorney for Finances

The power of attorney for finances is given to allow someone else to manage your finances in the event that you become incapacitated and are unable to make those decisions yourself. More precisely, the financial power of attorney is a document that grants someone legal authority to act on your behalf for financial issues. This person’s official title depends on the state you live in, but is often referred to as your agent or as an attorney-in-fact. Just as with the power of attorney for healthcare, you can set the limits of your financial agent’s power, granting as much or as little power as you think is appropriate. When deciding whether to set limits, consider the kind of tasks your agent will likely be asked to perform:

  • Paying your bills
  • Paying your taxes
  • Paying medical expenses
  • Managing your real estate assets
  • Accessing your financial accounts
  • Investing on your behalf
  • Collecting any retirement benefits
  • Transferring and selling your assets
  • Buying insurance for you
  • Operating your small business
  • Hiring someone to represent you

Your agent cannot do whatever he or she wants to do, but must act in your best interests. One area of potential conflict to keep in mind is in regards to paying for medical expenses. If your financial and medical agent aren’t the same person or disagree on medical care, the financial agent can make receiving medical care difficult.

To create a power of attorney for finances, most states offer simple forms to fill out. Although most states don’t require that you use these forms, it is always a good idea to do so. Generally, the document must be signed, witnessed and notarized by an adult. If your agent will have to deal with real estate assets, some states require you to put the document on file in the local land records office. In addition, many banks have their own forms, and while not strictly necessary, it will make the process much easier if your bank knows who your financial agent is. Finally, the power of attorney for finances is generally only extinguished upon your death, revocation by you or a court, or upon divorce.

Free Consultation with an Estate Planning Lawyer in Utah

If you are here, you probably have an estate issue you need help with, call Ascent Law for your free estate law consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


Recent Posts

AB Trusts

Divorce Lawyer West Jordan

Lawsuits About Real Estate Contracts

Marijuana and Meth Charges

Who Can Challenge a Will?

Filing for Divorce While Living Abroad